Whether you’re currently self-isolating or you're living in a pandemic-free future where people mill about freely, doing yoga at home comes with a host of health benefits!
Just in case you aren’t aware of how good yoga can be for you, mind and body, we’ll go over the benefits, then introduce you to some channels that will help you start your at-home practice – no special yoga equipment required.
The holistic health benefits of yoga
Chances are, you’ve heard about at least some of the benefits yoga has to offer. The main benefits of yoga fall into two neat categories – physical and mental.
Let’s take a closer look.
When you unroll that mat, you’re about to strengthen your muscles, improve your endurance, and of course, eek more flexibility out of your ligaments. But your yoga practice is about more than that one-time exercise. Creating a regular yoga routine will also help to boost your immune system and increase longevity, as staying active helps to reduce the risk of disease.
Because yoga is such a purposeful, meditative exercise, it’s also a great outlet for stress and anxiety relief. In fact, a recent study showed that 90 minutes of Iyengar Yoga (a meticulous yoga style that often incorporates props like blocks, straps, blankets and bolster-pillows) helped fight off some types of depression by increasing GABA levels – an important neurotransmitter for dealing with stress.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits you can start to see with a regular yoga routine...
8 reasons to start doing yoga at home
Whatever exercise routine you follow, be sure to incorporate a yoga sequence for at least 15 minutes per day, or for 90 minutes once per week to reap the full benefits of your yoga practice!
Routinely doing yoga:
- Improves physical fitness (flexibility, strength, endurance)
- Keeps your brain young
- Eases anxiety and relieves stress
- Builds self-confidence
- Increases your ability to focus and think-deeply (especially with more meditative practices)
- Teaches you how to breathe properly and helps you sleep better
- Promotes good posture and improves balance
- It’s suitable for every fitness level!
The benefits of an at-home yoga practice
Not only are those all great reasons to start doing yoga today, but at-home yoga has a few extra silver linings such as:
- You get to do it in the comfort of your own home
- There’s no social pressure or a feeling of others judging you in a classroom setting
- It’s often free or cheaper than an in-class experience
So what’s stopping you from doing yoga?
The stigmas surrounding yoga
Yoga has a reputation. It’s too girly for many guys, too difficult for beginners, or just too weird for some. People often avoid it because of their perception of it, without even giving it a chance.
But most of those perceptions aren’t true. Some of the common objections are things like:
- It’s too spiritual – While its roots are steeped in spirituality, your yoga practice can be as spiritual (or not as spiritual) as you want it to be.
- It’s not a good-enough work-out or isn’t challenging enough – You can find yoga practices that are as difficult (or as easy) as you want. Plus, the emphasis on stretching helps you avoid injuries in any other exercises you do – that’s a win-win.
- I’m not flexible enough to do it – You don’t need to be a superstar in yoga, especially when you’re starting out! The trick – just like life – is to practice and push yourself a little more each time you do it. You’ll gain more flexibility over time!
- I don’t have time for it – To reap the benefits of yoga, you don’t need tons of time. Even 15 minutes per day, or every other day, will get you positive results.
- It’s too boring – Because yoga can be meditative, it can feel too slow, or boring. The root is often a lack of focus, as it’s challenging to discipline your mind to hone in on your movements at the present moment.
The truth is, we can find one thousand reasons not to do something if we don’t want to do it. But if you have an open mind, the world is your oyster and you can have fun with the spices.
Try these great at-home yoga practices
Whether you’re an advanced yogi, or you’re just beginning – or you’re like us, and fall somewhere in the middle – try out one of the excellent yoga routines below, to improve your overall health and wellness!
Sarah Beth Yoga
Yoga with Adriene
Popsugar Fitness Yoga
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your yoga practice
We encourage you to play in each yoga practice and experiment with different sequences to see which one you like the best. There are so many yoga styles to choose from, so don’t be afraid to experiment!